Highlights tour of Romania

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Date
Price
Basis
09 Sep 2017
£ 1239
including UK flights
Full
 
30 Sep 2017
£ 1239
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21 Apr 2018
£ 1239
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19 May 2018
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09 Jun 2018
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07 Jul 2018
£ 1239
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04 Aug 2018
£ 1239
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08 Sep 2018
£ 1239
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Vouchers
Accepted
Holiday type

Small group holiday

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travellers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Highlights tour of Romania

Accommodation and Meals:
We stay in a wonderful mix of accommodation, ranging from 3 and 4-star hotels, an Orthodox monastery and a converted train that once belonged to the East German railway. All of the accommodation providers employ local staff. Meals are a mixture of fresh local produce and Romanian specialties like smoked meats, cabbage dishes and vegetable soups. When lunches and dinners are included, these are taken in unique and locally-run locations such as a monastery, with local families in Bucovina and Viscri, in the train hotel and at the salt mine in Praid. Where meals are not included, the leader will encourage clients to dine in and support family-run restaurants and establishments as well as purchasing supplies in local markets in the towns we visit.

Association for Ecotourism in Romania:
Our local tour operators are founding members of the Association for Ecotourism in Romania (AER) and hold positions on the Director’s Board. The Association is involved in promotion and marketing of sustainable tourism activity and accreditation of ecotourism tours and green accommodation. In a place where ecotourism is still in its infancy, this group is significant in raising public awareness of responsible ways to travel and this is reflected in the nature of this trip.

Local Craft and Culture:
We get an insight into the rural, agricultural and cultural traditions and lifestyles of many communities in Romania. In Bucovina we visit the painted monasteries of Moldovita and Sucevita, considered treasures in Romania and will also have a chance to see a very special type of black pottery in Marginea, which has been produced in the region for more than 500 years. We visit the Agapia monastery where the nuns are renowned for their carpet weaving workshop andin Maramures we visit a decorated eggs museum to learn about the conservation and practice of traditional painting techniques.
In Transylvania, we visit the Saxon towns and villages of Sighisoara, Biertan and Viscri, all UNESCO World Heritage listed and known for their fortified churches and mediaeval architecture. Here, clients are encouraged to buy local crafts, agricultural produce and learn about the traditional Saxon culture. In Viscri we also enjoy a traditional lunch at a local family’s home. The village was saved from deterioration through the initiative of the Prince’s Trust, after the Prince of Wales first visited in 1998. It’s one of the leading examples of how tourism can benefit the inhabitants of remote areas.

Conservation:
In the Vanatori Neamt Nature Parklocated in the north-east of Romania, we learn about the conservation project for the reintroduction of the European bison. It is one of the few places where the European bison can be seen. By visiting, we are supporting the work goes on here with monitoring and maintenance of the reintroduction project.

Community
Throughout the tour we contribute to the local economy by paying for local guides and entrance fees to the People’s Palace, Vanatori Neamt Nature Park, monasteries, egg museum, salt mine and churches. There will be several opportunities to buy local handicrafts and regional produce on the tour as well as enjoy typical meals with a local family. This trip is designed to allow a high degree of economic benefit to all the local communities that we visit.

Group Size:
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people.

UK office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.


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